Art and Architecture
Transitio – global dialogue, city within a city
Metropoli a confronto / Big city dialogue - DOMUS 888
The public art series created by Solange Fabião continues its unusual journey around the world. Its mission: to bring a little bit of America to Lebanon, a glimpse of China to New York, and again, a taste of Brazil to China. In an unexpected dialogue of contrasts and connections, uniting ten different cities across the planet.
After having projected videos of New York and Shanghai onto the façade of the Dome in Beirut(in 2004), the next stop was a building in Canal Street, in the heart of New York's Chinatown, to accommodate images of streets in Nanning and Shanghai(in 2005). In 2006 "Transitio" it will be the turn of Beijing, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles; in 2007 Milan and Osaka. E.S.Read Full Text
“Since the year 2000 I have been filming cities around the world in a very intimate and exploratory way. The series Transitio started in 2001 with the exhibition Duration: 1 Hour and 3 Minutes — Location: 17.3 Miles at Paul Rodgers Gallery in NYC, coinciding with the Guggenheim Museum exhibition Brazil Body and Soul. I videotaped New York's Broadway from the perspective of a taxi, capturing street scenes from the Bronx to Wall Street, in one shot, an unedited diagonal passage through the city. In 2002 the same video-sculpture was presented in Mexico City actualizing the first exchange between two cities. In 2003 New York was seen in
Tornio in Finland.
In this second phase of the project my intention is to have a physical exchange with the city, through outdoor projections onto buildings. The purpose of the project is to bring a city onto another through an outdoor projection, a video projection on the city’s surface. The public-site
installation is formed to bring these cities to a simultaneous present, a spontaneous and poetic
experience due to the form and placement of the video”. S.F. 2004
THE PARALLEL PRESENT
CONTENT AND CONTEXT
Context sculpts the content of the exchange
EMOTIONAL AND INTUITIVE CONSCIOUSNESS
A Film by Solange Fabião
We stand for an hour and three minutes in the dark in front of a large screen on which the familiarity of the city had evaporated into tiny fragments, slivers of city life wedged into a darting camera. A small box, the camera itself, is handheld in a large yellow box, a New York taxi, which moves from northwest to southeast on the only trace of an aboriginal Manhattan.Read Full Text
A Film by Solange Fabião
We stand for an hour and three minutes in the dark in front of a large screen on which the familiarity of the city had evaporated into tiny fragments, slivers of city life wedged into a darting camera. A small box, the camera itself, is handheld in a large yellow box, a New York taxi, which moves from northwest to southeast on the only trace of an aboriginal Manhattan. This trace lends movement along this axis as one of the most distantly reverberating sounds. We can barely fathom the sequence of events, or make the necessary connection between that which is revealed in the course of this short epic voyage. Any episodic tendency is rigorously denied and we are propelled again, forever again in the direction of the moving taxi while the camera performs a short movement of delay, pointing slightly back. This delineates a rapid zigzag, seen above the horizontal, which ceaselessly pursues its diagonal track. It makes the simple passage into a complex plot with its moments of reversal, recognition, and suffering. Something like poetic meter is established through the parallel movements of car and camera. The visual depth of the continuous shot is interrupted by a different vista, the crossroads with a distant view, as remote at times as the Hudson River and the New Jersey shore. Rhythms are formed as the camera is threaded through the tissue of the city.
Ever since Leon Battista Alberti we have had to confront an infinite field of possibility, when conceiving of the relation of the interior to the exterior, or vice versa. The relation itself becomes apparent in the reassuring sense that art is indeed all that exists inside the frame. The bars of rectilinear primary colors are nothing but diagonal forces that move across the surface of the canvas. Compared with the theoreticians of neoplasticism to an architectural plane, they provide a frame without being a limit. They incessantly reappear at the margin of our field of vision or alternatively as the fragment of a vast, infinite space that we are hardly capable of inhabiting except as a thing of the mind.
The frame through which we are invited to see, hear, and contemplate Broadway is a traveling diagonal, a derive that cuts through the grid of Manhattan. This is a camera in defiance, a camera that rebels against the close grain epic of a city refusing to line itself up or down. With Solange Fabião’s camera we penetrate the island, we cross through, she puts us on the path of this place, with a certain step, crossing the threshold. We are put on a path of an impossible passage, indeed the non-passage that exist only in the mind, the event of watching, which no longer has the form of the movement that consists in passing, traversing, or transiting. It is the event that has no longer the form or the appearance of the original step she made, when she boarded the taxi armed with the camera. Her pace, her rhythm, this zigzagged passage, we can take it as an invitation to a certain experience of hospitality, as the crossing of the threshold by an observer who is free, or not, to come.
She appears to block our path, more precisely, with this rite of passage, the path as a barred path is no longer what it is. It is the memory of that which carries the future. We are invited to experience this diagonal from both sides of an indivisible line according to her thinking, her gift.
New York, April 2000
Yehuda E. Safran